Health Care for All Rally

By Robert Bernstein

Nearly 3 million Californians do not have health insurance today. This, even with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) being passed 11 years ago.

California Assembly Bill 1400 would solve this problem once and for all. It would create a true universal health care system in California. A system that would cost less than our current broken system, yet it would cover everyone.

This past weekend a rally and march was held by Health Care for All and other organizations to support this bill. Notably, the purpose of the rally was to ask people to contact our California State Senator Monique Limon and our California Assembly Member Steve Bennett to ask them to fight to pass this bill.

Here are my photos and videos of this event.

Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo was the keynote speaker at the event. Here is her speech along with comments by event organizer John Enrico Douglas:

News Channel 3/12 reporter Ryan Fish was on hand to cover the event for local television.

Here you can watch their story:

The group gathered in front of the Courthouse as Douglas prepared people for the march:

Here the marchers left the Courthouse. In the lead was UCSB organizer Taylor Clark who explained that universal health care is a matter of basic justice. His banner simply consisted of this quote from Dr Martin Luther King:

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

The marchers gathered in front of the office of Assembly Member Steve Bennett:

This poster explains what the bill is up against: The powerful and profitable health insurance industry. An industry with an overhead of 20-25% that pays its executives millions a year. And profits by denying care to those in need.

The march continued down State Street

As curious street side diners looked on.

The group continued over to the offices of State Senator Monique Limon.

The couple on the right in this photo are Bill and Carole Marks. They started working on this issue in 1994 when Proposition 186 was on the ballot. That would have done universal health care, but was faced with an onslaught of insurance industry disinformation advertising. I was also involved in that effort. A lot has been learned over the years since then. Including a pandemic which shows how broken our current system still is.

Here is the official full text of the bill AB1400. The opening page gives a Legislative Digest summary explanation of what the bill does and how it will work.

And here is information from the organization Health Care for All California of how to get involved in supporting this bill:


Written by sbrobert

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  1. We need to reduce our cost of healthcare by 40% to be competitive with other counties so the $25K becomes $15K for the cost of family coverage. Two adults working would typically make on average at least $150K a year — so it works out at 10-15% as in Canada and Germany.
    It is a big expense regardless and will not be free. Having both the employee and employer pay half even for part time workers makes a lot of sense and will fix the practice of employers hiring only part time workers to get around paying for health insurance.

  2. Why can’t California? We have a single-party super-majority rule here in the worlds 5th largest economy, if they wanted to provide healthcare to everyone, as they constantly mention in campaigns, tweets, soundbites, and media appearances, they could. But they don’t, because what they say are just empty platitudes, what they think you want to hear so you’ll vote for them to (re)elected, then they legislates based on 1) what their corporate donors want and 2) what will keep them in positions of power.

  3. The elephant in the room is the cost of healthcare and health insurance. We should be asking why it is so expensive, not how to pay for it or who should pay for it. Healthcare costs have been increasing at about 10% per year. This exponential growth is unsustainable and something has to give. Why can’t a hospital give you a quote for a procedure? Why do different people have to pay different amounts for the same drug or service? Why has “health insurance” become little more than a protection racket instead of a low cost way to protect against a catastrophic or unforeseen event? The answer is that our healthcare system and the entities that are supposed to regulate it are corrupt. The insurance and healthcare industries have achieved total regulatory capture and engage in egregious anti-competitive business practices, all in violation of 15 usc chapter 1, with impunity. As a result, healthcare costs now consume close to 50% of the federal budget and are rising rapidly. Healthcare costs are also rising rapidly for employers, which means employees take home less and less of what their employer spends on them. The insurance and healthcare industries are literally sucking the life out of our economy. The solution is to bring the costs under control. Unless we do that, we will all suffer regardless of who is forced to foot the bill.

  4. Until we can bring back widespread, reputable, and unbiased news sources the former is going to be very difficult. As long as there is profit to be made in the “news” we won’t get there as truth and fact doesn’t sell nearly as well as fear, sensationalism, and division.

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